Jim Boeheim has ‘an iron-clad plan’ for his retirement, successor at Syracuse

Jim Boeheim isn’t ready to hang it up just yet, but the longtime Syracuse coach revealed on Wednesday night that he has an exit plan ready to go.

Boeheim, who has been at Syracuse for more than four decades, said on ESPN Radio he expects to help select his replacement when he eventually retires. Boeheim, however, declined to say when that will be.

“There’s a plan,” Boeheim said on ESPN Radio. “I’m just telling you there’s a plan.”

Boeheim took over at Syracuse in 1976, and is now the second-winningest coach in Division I history with 997. He trails only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski — who is retiring after this season — on that list.

Boeheim currently holds a 1,098-424 record in his 46 seasons with the Orange. He’s reached the Final Four five times in his career and won a national title in 2003.

Syracuse is currently 15-15 heading into Saturday’s regular season finale against Miami. Boeheim has never had a losing season, something that is now at risk before the matchup at the Carrier Dome.

While he’s undoubtedly nearing the end of his career, Boeheim has no plan to bail on next season’s team. Syracuse has the 18th-best recruiting class for next season, according to, and Boeheim isn’t willing to retire after recruiting those players.

“I think if I said I’m quitting now, after giving my word to these players, to me it would look like, ‘Oh, they’ve had a bad year, so he’s just going to quit,’ ’’ Boeheim said on Saturday, via “That’s what it would look like to me. Maybe not to you. Maybe not to someone else. But that’s what I would see.”

So while the 77-year-old coach knows when he is going to retire, he’s not willing to announce that publicly. When the time comes to finally announce his plan, he said he’ll leave that up to the university.

“I’m not going to tell you or anybody when that is going to be, [but] we have a plan in place. A good plan. An iron-clad plan,” he said, via “It’s not my decision. I’m not naming the [next] coach like people say all the time … At the end of the day, I can promise you that I’m trying to leave this program in the best position that it can be when I leave. I think we will be able to do that.”

Head Coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange
Though he’ll be back next season, Jim Boeheim has an eventual plan to retire already in place. (Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)